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How Would You Like To Remember Your Baby?

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Presenting at the Uncertainty & Loss in Maternity & Neonatal Care Conference - London (11th September)

I'm very excited and a little nervous to be presenting at the Uncertainty and Loss in Maternity and Neonatal Care Conference in London on Thursday 11th September. My talk will introduce the training day that is offered through Gifts of Remembrance but its a real challenge knowing what to say in 15 minutes that normally takes 6 hours to teach! I keep telling myself I have to go with my heart - this whole project has been heart led from the beginning and it has led me to where I am now, with parents, midwives and care staff telling me that the training makes a real difference. 
Sometimes it feels like a drop in the ocean - if I had things my way every single member of staff who cared for bereaved parents would know how important it is to empower parents and collect memories that really mean something and would have the skills to capture that precious time beautifully and sensitively on camera. 
I've spent most of my working life in the NHS so I understand the pressure staff are under with so many mandatory training days and it's a struggle for them to find time or funding - but it's so so important because what parents can get from the experience will make their hearts break open with gratitude and will be so enormously comforting. 
I was enormously grateful for what I had, even now 5 years on, even though I didn't have very good photos of my little man, my heart still swells when I think of the care he was given - but it would have been so wonderful to have had more. I still regret the fact that I never saw much of his little body. 
Even if this training is just a 'drop in the ocean' I'm reminded of the following story and that's why I provide this service and why I so love what I do... 

The Boy and the Starfish

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water.
Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.

As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.

The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,"I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. "But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast You can't possibly make a difference."
The boy looked down, frowning for a moment; then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied, "I made a huge difference to that one!" 

~Author Unknown~